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Innovation – A Poem by Ivon

As I drove to work this morning, I considered the phrase “thinking outside the box.” I wonder, “Is the most apt description for innovative or creative thinking?”

When I am inside the box can I really see outside and look around effectively? I could just be hanging on for dear life. Or, when I am outside the box, can I see inside? When I wrote my candidacy paper, I interviewed the first principal of our unique, alternative school and he provided an appropriate metaphor for innovative and creative organizations-a corral fence. I wrote the following poem and tried to capture what I think he meant.


A fence

with railings

see in or out

allow perspective.

Flow and rhythm

information in; information out





breathe and flex.

Part of a whole

complex, yet simple

reach beyond my world

one piece of a puzzle.


to our self

to the world.

Never box me in.

This fit with a song I heard by Ben Harper called With my Own Two Hands. He used to front a band called the Innocent Criminals and that drew me to his music. Enjoy this creative artist.

About ivonprefontaine

I am a retired educator who is currently completing a PhD. Prior to teaching, I worked in private industry for 15 years and returned to university to earn my education degree. For the last 17 years I taught, I was a teacher in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. My dissertation topic is how teachers experience becoming who they are as teachers, as human subjects.

2 responses »

  1. I like the idea of seeing through, having transparency. Maybe that is ‘inter-box’ thinking. You may just have coined something new here! :)

  2. That is an interesting word or phrase. I completed a guided or independent study about mindfulness in everyday life. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk, spoke of ‘inter-being.’ When you use the term ‘inter-box thinking,’ it has a similar sound to it. Organizations and people in them are connected in various ways to each other and to the other communities they are part of. Thank you for the contribution to my learning. You took it one step further.


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